A Fair Haven man was arrested on Sunday after police said he tried to rob the Terrill Street Beverage Store around 3:15 p.m.
John P. Barsalow, 29, pleaded not guilty on Monday in Rutland criminal court to one felony count of assault and robbery and one felony count of larceny from a person.
Barsalow was released without bail but ordered to observe a curfew in a Fair Haven home from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. and not to go to Terrill Street Beverage.
The charges against Barsalow are based on an affidavit written by Detective Sgt. Keith Lorman of the Rutland City Police Department, or RCPD, who said he was notified about an attempted robbery on Sunday.
Lorman said he contacted his colleague, Sgt. Charles Whitehead, also of the RCPD, who told Lorman that officers had already identified a subject and were waiting for a K-9 Unit to begin tracking him.
Police were also working with a photo obtained from surveillance footage.
Lorman said he went to the store and spoke with the owner, who said the incident started when a man came into the store and placed a note on the cash register.
The note allegedly said Barsalow had a gun and wanted the employees to give him the money from the cash register.
The clerk who was given the note said she told Barsalow, after he allegedly gave her the note, that police were on their way. She then rang a bell that let the other employees know about the alleged attempted robbery and the man who gave her the note then left, she told police.
Lorman said he gave the owner a thumb drive for him to give police the surveillance footage.
About the same time, officers contacted Lorman to say they had detained Barsalow at the Community Cupboard on River Street.
Lorman said he went to the cupboard and spoke with Barsalow inside his cruiser.
According to the affidavit, Barsalow described his day to Lorman but denied the attempted robbery. He told Lorman he didn’t have the nerve to rob a store.
Lorman said he spoke to a couple who lives near the Terrill Street Beverage Store. Both said they already knew Barsalow from before the alleged incident. They said they had seen Barsalow walking around near their driveway on Sunday.
The woman said she and the man had talked about how they thought Barsalow was “clean” but after seeing him on Sunday thought he was “using again.”
Lorman said he went to a Mansfield Place apartment where he believed Barsalow might be staying. The people in the apartment suggested Barsalow was a friend of a friend but provided police with a hoodie they thought he might have been wearing and a pad of paper that Lorman said police believed had been used to write the note given to the clerk at Terrill Street.
According to Lorman, Barsalow agreed to a second interview at the Rutland police station but continued to deny any involvement with the attempted robbery. He did admit to a “heroin problem,” Lorman said.
Lorman wrote in the affidavit that Barsalow seemed to be wearing the same clothing as the man in the surveillance video, although the man was wearing a cloth to hide his face, and the K-9 had tracked the suspect to the stairs of the Mansfield Place apartment.
If convicted of both charges, Barsalow could be sentenced to up to 20 years.